Gingerbread for rolling

  • Makes 15–18 2-inch rounds.
  • About half an hour.

This is a gingerbread you might plausibly have eaten in 1830, spicy, molasses-dark, and just rich and sweet enough for Christmas.

    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
    • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoons allspice
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda

    Whisk together in a large bowl.

    • ¼ pound (1 stick) butter, cut up
    • ⅓ cup dark brown sugar

    Rub into the dry ingredients with your fingers and/or the palms of your hands.

    • 1 egg

    Stir in with a fork.

    • ⅔ cup molasses, warmed

    Warm the molasses slightly (30 seconds in the microwave will do). Stir in. Work with your hands, if necessary, until the mixture forms a rollable dough. (Some kneading is fine.)

  1. Roll the dough, not too thinly (¼-inch thick is good) and cut into shapes.

  2. Bake at 350° for about 8 minutes, or until the edges are set but the middles are still soft.

Frosting (optional)

    • powdered sugar
    • lemon juice or freshly squeezed orange juice, as needed

    Drizzle in the juice slowly, stirring vigorously to remove lumps, until the mixture is just thin enough to drizzle off a spoon. (You will need less juice than you may think.)

  1. When the gingerbreads are cool, drizzle them with the frosting.

Notes

  • The molasses should be a good, sweet brand, definitely not blackstrap. It will stir into the dough more easily if it’s warm.
  • The frosting is not the sort of frosting you can use for precision work, so if you’re planning fussy cookies, look elsewhere. A cup of powdered sugar will make enough frosting to drizzle it abstractly; a cup and a half or two cups will let you coat the gingerbreads.